Links for 11-10-2016

  • Will Rahn of CBS News wrote, “The Unbearable Smugness of the Press”:

    Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.

    It’s a profound failure of empathy in the service of endless posturing. There’s been some sympathy from the press, sure: the dispatches from “heroin country” that read like reports from colonial administrators checking in on the natives. But much of that starts from the assumption that Trump voters are backward, and that it’s our duty to catalogue and ultimately reverse that backwardness. What can we do to get these people to stop worshiping their false god and accept our gospel?

    We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice.


    That’s the fantasy, the idea that if we mock them enough, call them racist enough, they’ll eventually shut up and get in line. It’s similar to how media Twitter works, a system where people who dissent from the proper framing of a story are attacked by mobs of smugly incredulous pundits. Journalists exist primarily in a world where people can get shouted down and disappear, which informs our attitudes toward all disagreement.

    Journalists increasingly don’t even believe in the possibility of reasoned disagreement, and as such ascribe cynical motives to those who think about things a different way. We see this in the ongoing veneration of “facts,” the ones peddled by explainer websites and data journalists who believe themselves to be curiously post-ideological.

  • Richard Epstein wrote an open letter to Donald Trump:

    Indeed, the campaign to deregulation domestically has to take place through all the government agencies, whether they deal with environmental, securities, communications, trade, or any other issue. We do not need the clean power plan in its current form, or for that matter, the clean water plan; we do not have to get detailed information, world-wide, of the wages of the median worker; we do not need programs of net neutrality; we do not have to have the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (whose head, Richard Cordray, you are now entitled to sack) to run roughshod over various credit markets. There is here a relatively simple prescription: whatever the Obama administration has done by regulation, undo.

  • Los Angeles-based artist Sabo created signs advertising estate sales for celebrities who said they’d leave the U.S. if Donald Trump was elected president. Here’s Amy Schumer’s “moving to Canada” sign:
    Amy Schumer moving to Canada

  • Former Illinois congressman Aaron Schock was indicted on 24 federal counts ranging from mail fraud to filing false paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to filing false tax returns.

  • Federal prosecutors charged four Turkish and Iranian nationals with evading sanctions on Iran: “The defendants were accused of helping three Iranian companies import and export large quantities of copper and steel to and from Iran, and arranging for U.S. banks to transfer at least $100 million to further the scheme.” All of the defendants are still at large.

  • Lawyers for former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff filed documents that they claim prove that new President Michel Temer accepted a large bribe. In effect Rousseff is trying to get her successor removed from office, just as she was.

  • French prosecutors are examining whether Renault cheated on diesel engine emissions tests.

  • Turkish prosecutors are seeking life sentences for staff members of the pro-Kurdish newspaper Ozgur Gundem. They’re charged with spreading propaganda for the PKK.

  • A car bombed detonated outside the German consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, killing two people and injuring 60. The Taliban claimed responsibility.